May 19, 2021 9:39:50 am
A Covid night curfew in the region has failed to put a brake on incidents of group clashes and assaults, with Chandigarh witnessing at least six such incidents in the last two weeks, most of which were reported from the villages, suburban, and slum areas, and at least two of which involved the use of sharp weapons.
Chandigarh had implemented a night curfew, between 6pm and 5am, on April 7 to arrest the spread of Covid-19 in the region.
On Saturday night, at least eight people, along with two women, had attacked a 40-year-old woman with sharp-edged weapons inside her house in Mauli Complex over an alleged monetary dispute.
In the second case, a Hallomajra resident, identified as Daleep, filed an FIR with the police on Tuesday, alleging that three men attacked him with sharp edged weapons near his house on May 8 around 7pm. Police said though the incident took place more than a week ago, the FIR was lodged only when the victim was able to record his statement.
Likewise, on May 7, at least six people were injured after two groups clashed and attacked each other with sticks, stones, and iron rods over an old enmity at Maloya. Subsequently, two cross FIRs against the members of both the groups were lodged at Maloya police station later.
A review of all the cases that took place in the last fortnight suggests that most such incidents happened in areas under the jurisdiction of police station 31, Maloya police station, Mauli Jagran police station, and police station 26 — all of which have been deemed ‘sensitive’ by authorities.
A police officer, requesting anonymity, said, “There are certain reasons behind such incidents taking place, particularly in these areas during the night curfew. In these areas, almost all the houses have their entry/exit gates touching the main link roads. The houses are small and these pockets are overcrowded. Even small issues like parking of vehicles, and blocking of roads flare up and turn violent. Also, unemployment, poverty, and illiteracy are rampant in some of these areas, which adds to the chaos.”
On April 22, a group of youngsters had attacked policemen and damaged their patrol van at Mauli Jagran, after a patrol party had gone to the area after having received a call about some people drinking and creating nuisance.
SP (UT) Ketan Bansal said, “All police patrol parties know what areas are sensitive. Patrolling in such specific areas has been enhanced in the last few days. Relevant IPS sections are often slapped against people involved in such clashes, the punishment for which is stricter as compared to the Disaster Management Act. We are following a zero-tolerance policy against people violating lockdown guidelines.”
Dr Roshan Lal, Associate Professor with PU Psychology department, said that these incidents of violence were not a reflection of the failure of Chandigarh police in implementing the night curfew guidelines.
“Why are such incidents happening only in slum areas, villages and rehabilitation colonies. These people have lost their livelihoods and they are frustrated, which they are reflecting through the violence. We have put restrictions on their livelihoods. There is a dire need to address their grievances. The administration needs to organise counseling camps in these areas,” Lal, who has handled a helpline of the Chandigarh police during the first Covid wave, said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.